"Introspective and cathartic European folk music."
(Sahar Oz, Delusions of Adequacy, Pittsburgh, PA)
"There's some dark majesty at work here."
(Suzie Q, logo magazine, London)
"Heartbreakingly beautiful, slow, minimal folk. Think Will Oldham, mellow tracks Iron and Wine, quiet Sun Kil Moon ... Can you believe something so pretty came out of the land of the Schwarzenegger? (no, I don't mean California).
(Mor, KZSU Radio, Stanford, CA)
"The most beautiful and most touching music being created today,“ wrote now! magazine about Son of the Velvet Rat’s "Playground" album, and ranked it in 2nd place on its list of this country’s most outstanding musical works of 2006. Kurier, a top Vienna daily, brought out the ultimate superlatives, calling Georg Altziebler "the best singer/songwriter this country has ever produced."
A year later, Son of the Velvet Rat released the follow-up: "Loss & Love" produced by (ExWilco-Drummer) Ken Coomer and Charlie Brocco, sounding more forceful, more demanding and rougher than its predecessor, though without losing its touching intimacy and simplicity. Georg Altziebler, in his own words: “Loss & Love -two sides of a coin. Or: Siamese twins whose separation seldom succeeds. It’s not that the songs on this new album are strategically designed to revolve around this conceptual pair, but it nevertheless is the constant that’s engraved into the music. In retrospect, Loss and Love are what remain.“
With the 2008 release "Gravity" (10-inch/vinyl only), Son Of The Velvet Rat introduced a sideshow in the vein of Garage Rock. In this case, form and content deliberately do not produce a symbiosis but are rather on a path of collision. Why not dance if the essential questions of life are being left unanswered: “Is anybody out there waiting – you never know!” In contrast to the familiar downbeat tempos of previous Son Of The Velvet Rat releases, the 5 new songs on “Gravity” embrace a more accelerated tempo. The instrumentation on “Gravity” takes a new turn on Son Of The Velvet Rat’s familiar piano/accordion arrangements and introduces electric guitars and ‘70s French pop-inspired keyboards.
11 songs (animals) 2009.
Now, as follow-up to “Gravity,” his Garage-excursion featuring exuberant rhythms and tones reminiscent of French pop, G. A. presents its dramaturgical antithesis. “The new album, "11 songs (animals) " is an essay on yearning, this foehn-induced feeling of uneasiness, of being, at once, at the mercy of and in accord with the thawing of the snow. In it, animals play a role as well. Why? Because they’re immune to the pangs of longing. They’re lived by life -without forewarnings. We can’t be like them, but we know why: yearning is a gentle poison. Whoever doesn’t shed his skin feels nothing. Whoever wants to save his skin had better dress warm! Whoever abandons hope has failed to understand anything. Yearning has no aim. It persists, progressively unfolding.”
First off, the instrumentation dispenses with all references to Americana. Piano, Spanish horns and analog soundscapes are the leading tonal protagonists. The spectrum of string instruments ranges from violin to bouzouki. Again, the new album was produced by Charlie Brocco and Ken Coomer, who also played drums. The 11 songs were recorded in November 2008 at Westwood Studio in Nashville, TN. One thing’s for sure: rarely has an album recorded in Nashville sounded “more European.”
"The simplistic ballads are mystical, enlightened, and the haunting music is at its paramount. The penetrating pieces are beautiful, romantic, fragile, and magical. Dark melancholy permeates the lyrics laced with recurring themes of alienation and loneliness. Thoughts of disconnection and isolation accentuate the prophetic, foreboding song writing. The gloomy, echoing tunes are simplicity at its best." (Christine Beals, one times one)
"Son of the velvet rat reach back to ... the bottomless pain of Leonard Cohen and the mordant reflection of Tindersticks … there's some dark majesty at work here."
(Suzie Q, logo magazine, London)
"The sound is simple and stark ... There's nothing more arresting than a single note echoing against the darkness. Altziebler seems to have figured that out and he's written songs that accentuate the isolation of the sound. Or maybe he found a sound that matches his songwriting. Either way, this album kills." (Jon Worley, aiding&abetting #252, Durham, NC)
"The vocalist carries on the tradition of Leonhard Cohen as filtered through the modern sensibilities of Tindersticks' Stuart Staples -all moody mumbles and heart-wrenching poetry ..." (Listen.com, RewiewXII/)
“I have long been a fan of Georg Altziebler and Son of the Velvet Rat. His last album, Playground, was an introspective journey into what I thought were personal trials and tribulations, but he exposed them as normal human fear, suffering and angst; they are just expressed differently in different people. Loss & Love is less personal and more universal (…) The music takes you by the hand and explains that this is going to hurt, but everybody has to go through it; it will be alright, and it is love. After that, you will always have a special connection to this album and Georg Altziebler's music. This album sounds as if Georg Altziebler spent a lifetime collaborating with Donovan, George Harrison, Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. Yeah, it’s that good.“ (onetimesone.com, Jason Hall)
"... his lyrics emanate directly from his heart and their honesty and urgency give the songs a gorgeous hue." (Katrina M. Davenport, Sponic zine)
“Georg Altziebler remains the master of using minimalist means to achieve maximal results. (...) Skeletal songs, fleshed out with optigan, Hammond organ and cello, between folk, alternative country and indie Dire Straits, having more tension, charisma and captivating atmosphere in their little fingers than most songwriters do in both hands.“
(Oliver Uschmann, Visions, #173, Germany)
“Melancholy songs, full of tension to the point of bursting, eating away at the very substance of the capacity for cheery exuberance. Minimalist instrumentations, soft melodies, strokes and caresses as light as a feather. Each of these 11 songs possesses its own very special magic that gently spews subdued sparks and fans them into a blazing conflagration. Listening to the tender ‘Lovesong #8’ or the hideous ‘Bad Screenplay/Bad Karma/Are you ready to shoot?’ (whose dramatics inevitably evoke recollections of the great devastations) is enough to take your breath away.“ (Christian Preußer, plattentest.de, Germany)
“There are situations in which a writer comes to doubt the capacity of his words to do justice to an artist’s music. To make a long story short: We’re talking about songwriting greatness of one who is the equal of David Eugene Edwards. And I write this with knowledge aforethought and in full possession of my mental faculties.“ (M. Streitberger, sellfish.de, Germany)
Austria (charts, rotation, features)
ORF Radio Ö1 (features) | FM4 (No. 3/charts, rotation, features) | ORF Radio NÖ | radio orange (feature, „Gezeichnet für´s Leben“) ..
Studio Bergisch Land | Tide | bermuda.funk – Freies Radio Rhein-Neckar e. V. | Eldoradio | Hertz 87,9 | Hochschulradio Aachen | Radio Dreyeckland | Radio Q | Redaktion HoRadS | Uniradio Magdeburg ..
USA (charts, rotation, features)
wrfl 88.1 Lexington, ky, WBRS 100.1 FM Waltham, WUOG.org _90.5fm Athens, Georgia, KYMC Chesterfield MO, WRFL* Lexington KY, WRUW* Cleveland OH, WTUL* Baton rouge LA, WRAS* Atlanta GA, WVUD* Newark DE, KVRX* Austin TX ..
Spare Some Sugar (for the rat) | 2003
By My Side | 2003
Alpha-Suite | 2004
Playground | 2006
Loss & Love | 2007
Gravity | 2008
Austria, the USA, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia,
all infos | www.velvetrat.mur.at soundcheck | www.myspace.com/sonofthevelvetrat